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The main point I want to make in this post is about gatekeepers vs. audience. Had we relied on what the gatekeepers were telling us about Ink, i.e. "we don't know how to market the film," to "it's too strange" to "it doesn't have any stars" to "this would never sell" to multiple festival rejections, we would have given up and thrown in the towel probably by February. Instead of going on the expert opinions, we decided to take the film directly to audiences and bypass all the gatekeepers and guess what? Success! For one gatekeeper saying "there is no way to market this film" we have had 10 audience members claim it is the best film of the year. I'm not being boastful (there are plenty of people who think the film is awful), but I believe that 100,000 downloads across torrent sites in 48 hours is proof positive that the gatekeepers are out of touch with audiences. The film community elite have brushed Ink off as nothing, all the while the audience is screaming for more.
The "Oshkosh 6" - this group of guys drove 8 hours round-trip to see Ink at the Flyway Film Festival on October 23rd, 2009. From left: me, Adam Meyer, Mark Mazur, Trent Hillborn, Joseph Dhein, Joey Meyer, James Lieske and Jamin.
So for all of you filmmakers out there frustrated by a constant stream of "No" and "Please submit your next film", gather round and hear this: cover your ears, close your eyes, take the plunge and support your film with the ferocity of a mother bear. Kindly say "thank you for your time" and move on to the people who matter most - your fans.